sex made you

photo by chip willis, me

i spend time naked.

in my daily life. in my art.

this is no different, though it very much is.

today it is with kate sweeney and chip willis.

it is a photo shoot. an easy, fun, remarkable shoot. the talent in each of these artists is more than i can shake my bits at. nuance in the composition of their work reveals two parallel but very different eyes that share a rigor and wit in revealing truth and beauty with skill that can only be gained by people who do what they love. kate is my heart. my fucking-soul-sister-other-human-love form of friend. she feels like home when it is a place you want to return to. the two of them feel solid like this for each other and for other folks, both brilliant and weak.

in coming to recognize and honor the ingredients that make me, I sit with sex as creation. My body has an innate intention toward it. Toward life. But we have changed sex by hiding, coveting, and wielding it as weapon.

elbow back, ass toward me, nose down – now play there. i’m 37 years old. no children. no partner. no pets. nothing owned. and soon, i will no longer have this job.

i make time.

we work with no real boundary between art and life. research and play. ritual and rote. love and knowledge. i summon my sexual energy. like other energies, i am aware that sometimes it consumes me. alone or not. i continue to learn. we forget in our slut-shaming and celebration of a certain kind of fidelity that sex makes life. you are here because your parents kissed and sweat and came. or maybe you are here from violence. but that is a different thing. whether or not you were made out of love – whatever your definition of it – sex made you. cum and connection. water pouring. climax. stickywetmesses; upturned feminine and cocks dripping. this is how we come to life and then come “weeping out of someone’s vagina” (dave matthews), so why if i am seen as sexual might that discredit my work, my research, my value?

the society we create has us watching humans murdered; tortured because of belief, by fearful others – we can scroll through and watch the actual moment when a human life becomes death – and consume pain, suffering, and hatred over coffee with Facebook babies and event notices. we are appalled, but still hungry.

so why would one feel disgust at seeing my feminine, ass, or nipples? the human body, alive and luminous? you have sex organs. you may also have fun and feel beautiful as a form of nature alive with people you love on a planet with trees and water.

sex nature and beauty. trust. empowerment.

murder. democide. fear and violence.

what do we recognize?

what do we perpetuate?

alongside this:

heading home in the truck with kate and chip. feeling embraced by watertrees and friends, I scroll through the photos he took. i gravitate to his impeccable compositions with sky, to my ugly and beauty. there are a lot of awkward catches of me. eyes sideways, mouth crooked and jutting. i am no model. i watch kate as she emits from every cell. micro-expressions with a heightened awareness of time and change, lines of action in form of flesh, she dances minutely and arises out of the watery scene she is in. she is, as coco puts it, ‘iconic’. and there are some incredible portraits of me. as i scroll through the shots faster i can see the patterns of me emerge. tension in neck, jaw, and hips. I am alarmed at how revealing photography is. movement caught moving – or stuck. you cannot hide what you don’t want seen. i begin to imagine where i want to invite movement into my body. into a different experience of this body. i begin to feel weight in the back of my skull and in the width of my hips. the drive home is short. since that evening i’ve explored this awareness in my daily, in my practice and here now as i sit in this chair i think of sharona, asking if/how shooting with chip has “changed my dancing”. and how working with him and kate is changing my experience of this body.